Friday, May 25, 2012


It is now some time since the threat of Yasi hovered off Queensland's north coast. Memories of this Master Plan came to mind when the news struck. It seemed inapprorpaite to publish this extract at the time of the threat, but now that this has passed, it is something that should be raised. Unfortunately, issues such as these only become critical when the disaster looms. At other times they appear irrelevant.

The Cairns City Council has published a Disaster Management Plan for the region. The role that the Cairns TAFE Campus can play in this plan needs to be clarified and published so that all on site know the procedures. Particular buildings may have a post-disaster function.

Cyclone protection of the buildings as separate elements in the whole needs to be considered in the broader strategy of post disaster use. While building regulations demand that structures are designed to withstand cyclonic conditions, there are actions that can be implemented to ensure that a building can operate through and after a cyclone. These include power generation and the storage of fuel; water supply; protection of critical services; protection of openings; all to Australian Standards. This is an important matter to consider as the maintenance of these facilities has to be continued throughout the whole year to ensure that generators are working and fuel and water supplies are kept fresh and clean. General building details will similarly require a more rigorous attention than normal. In good weather, these matters are easily forgotten and the importance of having such places available becomes less significant. But the matter does need to be addressed, not only for the campus but for the region – the neighbours, the adjacent school and the adjoining areas. These matters require to be co-ordinated within the broader management of these issues by Councils and Governments.

7.10            STORM SURGES
The Cairns City Council has published storm surge maps. The TAFE campus is illustrated with core areas 3.0 – 3.5m above AHD with the remainder of the site being 3 – 2.5m above AHD. The site is surrounded by roads that are 2 – 2.5m above AHD. The adjacent swamp areas are 1 – 1.78m above AHD but are below the Highest Astronomical Tide. The 1 in 100 prediction is for 2.41m above AHD. The majority of the campus is above this level – see Storm Serge Plans. Access to the site would be limited because, with these statistics, most of the roads leading to the campus would be flooded. The 500 /1000 year Greenhouse predictions are a cause for concern.

The problem of neglect remains for Brisbane too. See writings of January and February 2011 regarding the Brisbane floods: THE 'FLOOD-PROOF' HOUSE; THE 'FLOOD-PROOF' HOUSE REVIEWED; and WHAT FLOOD LEVEL? -

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